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Trustees approve withdrawal from Big East, honorary degree

by Mark Hebert, communications and marketing last modified Dec 07, 2012 11:50 AM

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees executive committee has approved UofL’s withdrawal from the Big East Conference.

During a Dec. 6 meeting, the committee heard a report from UofL President James Ramsey on the decision to leave the Big East and to accept an invitation to join the ACC.

UofL will pay a $10 million exit fee out of athletics funds to the Big East, Ramsey said, adding that he doesn’t anticipate any legal action being filed by the conference or UofL.  The president pointed out that the extra television revenue UofL will receive once it begins play in the ACC will more than cover the exit fee imposed by the Big East.

The committee also approved:

  • An honorary degree for Heddy Kurz. Kurz, 95, is an adopted alumna of UofL. She and her late husband, Herman, a UofL alumnus, have been significant donors and supporters of the university. Herman and Heddy Kurz Hall student housing carries their names.
  • Formally approved the winners of the 2012 Grawemeyer Awards.

The University of Louisville Foundation Board of Directors also met on Dec. 6 and approved the Board of Trustees’ evaluation of Ramsey.

The trustees rated his job performance as “outstanding.” Trustee Debbie Scoppecchio called Ramsey “a supreme leader,” while Bill Selvidge said Ramsey’s budget expertise helped the university make it through tough fiscal times.

“I don’t know if we would have made it without Jim’s expertise, which was remarkable” Selvidge said. UofL Board of Trustees Chairman Frank Minnifield told ULF board members, “we’ve had an incredible 60 days here…none of that would have happened without Jim.”

Under terms of his contract approved in June, a favorable job review will result in the Foundation automatically contributing to Ramsey’s retirement an amount equal to 25 percent of his total salary. Ramsey’s total combined annual compensation from the Foundation and the university is $600,000.

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